Pitkin County is ranked first in the State of Colorado for county recycling programs according to the State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado 2020 Annual Report. In 2019, Pitkin County came in with a 38% recycling and waste diversion rate, with Boulder County a close second at 37%. Pitkin is a bright spot compared to Colorado’s overall waste diversion rate of 15.9%, which sits well below the national average of 35% and actually dropped from 17.2% in 2018.
Pitkin County faces a huge hurdle in getting materials to recycling markets, most everything has to go to the Front Range for processing. Being ranked number one in the State for county recycling is a huge accomplishment, it couldn’t happen without the community being so passionate about waste diversion” said Cathy Hall, Pitkin County Solid Waste Director.
The recycling and diversion numbers include more than just the traditional recycling such as cans, bottles, and cardboard. Pitkin County Solid Waste Center collects mattresses, electronics, textiles, books, batteries, and paint for recycling and reuse. But the largest contributor to diversion in Pitkin County is the compost program, which is run through the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center’s commercial composting facility. In 2019 the County composted 12,838 tons of material.
“In my opinion, composting is the greatest diversion program in Pitkin County,” said Hall. “The material is generated, processed, and distributed in the community; no long distance travel required, it stays right here in the Roaring Fork Valley.”
For more information on the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center and its diversion programs, visit www.LandfillRules.com. For a copy of the State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado 2020 Annual Report visit www.ecocycle.org/take-action/zerowastecolorado.